San Miguel Corporation’s has extended its free fuel support to the government’s “Libreng Sakay” program past the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) period, or up to June 15, bringing its total fuel donation for the benefit of medical front liners to PHP 6.2 million.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang yesterday said that as Metro Manila adjusts to the “new normal” under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), there will still be limitations on transportation options for commuters, especially essential medical workers. That is why the company chose to continue helping the Department of Transportation (DOTR), which has been deploying shuttle buses to give free rides to medical front liners since the ECQ.
“It will be a period of adjustment for everyone, particularly those who are commuting to and from work. As the threat of the pandemic is still here, medical front liners still need to care for patients, particularly those afflicted with COVID-19. We have to make sure that they have reliable and safe transportation going to their places of work everyday,” Ang said.
Prior to the announcement of the extension of fuel subsidy, SMC, through SMC Infrastructure and Petron Corporation, recently donated an additional 45,000 liters of fuel for the use of DOTR shuttle buses, with the total fuel donated so far at 180,000 liters.
“Apart from the fuel for shuttle buses, we continue to support our brave medical front liners through our many initiatives. We will continue to support our front liners at this critical time, any way we can,” he said.
SMC, through SMC Infrastructure, has also waived toll fees worth PHP 11 million for medical front liners who travelled through the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Skyway System, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) during the enhanced community quarantine.
SMC had set aside PHP 500 million to donate life-saving medical equipment to various government hospitals nationwide, including eight sets of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing and RNA machines. It has also donated testing kits equivalent to 54,000 tests.
As of May 12, the company had donated a total of 1,222,490 liters of ethyl alcohol worth P91.8 million to 3,549 hospitals, non-government organizations and government agencies. Disinfectant powder worth PHP 15.37 million was also sent to various health facilities.
Ang also batted to make testing available for free or at very little cost to poor communities to help in contact tracing and control the transmission of the virus. To support the government’s expanded testing initiative, SMC has donated swab booths and PCR testing kits to all 17 Metro Manila LGUs.
In cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, SMC also completed the construction of 10 quarantine facilities with a total of 150-bed capacity worth P5 million around military camps nationwide for COVID-19 patients with mild to no symptoms to decongesting nearby hospitals.